Cavendish: two; Team Columbia: five
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cavendish: two; Team Columbia: five

by Steve Jones at 1:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results

Columbia sprinter Mark Cavendish (Columbia - High Road) was again delivered to the line perfectly by his team securing his second stage victory in this year's Giro d'Italia - the fifth win in the race for Team Columbia. Coming in second once again was Tyler Farrar (Garmin - Slipstream) with Alessandro Petacchi (LPR - Farnese Vini) managing third with no concerted effort from his team.

Petacchi is the only sprinter that has bested the speedster from the Isle of Man in this year's Giro, and with Di Luca in pink, likely he'll have to do it on his own if he wants to win again.

How the race unfolded:

After several attempts to form a breakaway were made a move finally broke free - it included Gustavo Cesar Veloso (Xacobeo Galicia), Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream), Dmytro Grabovskyy (ISD) and Alessandro Donati (Acqua & Sapone). The break got up to two minutes advantage on the peloton, but the race was too motivated to let them stay away.

Vladimir Isaichev (Xacobeo Galicia) was the next to try his hand at a break just before a small unrated climb. At one point the Russian had his gap over eight minutes, but the race wasn't too concerned with the limited power from a solo rider off the front. Teams Garmin - Slipstream and and Quick-Step began to drive the race forward to close the gap believing their sprinters could hold up against Cavendish.

Astana went to the front of the Passo de Turchino and set a hard tempo after initially being led on the lower slopes by the LPR Brakes team of the Maglia Rosa.  The increase in pace began to shed some riders off the back of the race. As they reached the top of the category 3 climb, Stefano Garzelli jumped off of the front to take the mountain points on offer building up his lead in the competition. On the descent Armstrong took control of the front, leading the peloton down the mountain jumping out of the saddle out of the corners with 18k left to race. With such a concerted effort from Armstrong you had to wonder what Bruyneel and the Texan might have up their sleeve.

After the race hit the flats Yaraslav Popovich attacked with around 7k to go and was joined by Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC), but the two didn't have to power to stay away from the charging peloton.  Apparently the ride into the finish wasn't as technical as Astana might have thought.

With 4km to go Team Columbia - High Road got their train organized at the front and began to drive the pace with Garmin - Slipstream setting up behind. Gasparotto attacked again in the final km's breaking loose with Jens Voigt and a couple others, but they weren't organized enough to stay away for long.

With 1km to go Team Columbia worked their way back to the front and launched their sprinter Mark Cavendish perfectly to the line, winning the stage easily over Farrar with Petacchi finishing third. Petacchi's LPR Brakes team wasn't interested in helping to position their man for the win, instead opting to conserve energy to defend the Maglia Rosa all the way to Rome for Danilo Di Luca. Tomorrow's long time trial will show whether or not that decision was a wise one.
Tour of Italy results on Wednesday in the 11th stage:

1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/THR) 4h51:17.
2. Tyler Farrar (USA/GRM) 0:00.
3. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/LPR) 0:00.
4. Allan Davis (AUS/QST) 0:00.
5. Sébastien Hinault (FRA/ALM) 0:00.
6. Davide Vigano (ITA/FUJ) 0:00.
7. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/THR) 0:00.
8. Alexander Serov (RUS/KAT) 0:00.
9. Oscar Gatto (ITA/ISD) 0:00.
10. Robert Förster (GER/MRM) 0:00.

1. Danilo Di Luca (ITA/LPR) 48h51:28.
2. Denis Menchov (RUS/RAB) 1:20.
3. Michael Rogers (AUS/THR) 1:33.
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA/AST) 1:40.
5. Franco Pellizotti (ITA/LIQ) 1:53.
6. Carlos Sastre (ESP/CTT) 1:54.
7. Ivan Basso (ITA/LIQ) 2:03.
8. Thomas Lövkvist (SWE/THR) 2:12.
9. David Arroyo (ESP/GCE) 2:35.
10. Gilberto Simoni (ITA/SDA) 2:58.
11. Tadej Valjavec (SLO/ALM) 4:27.
12. Marzio Bruseghin (ITA/LAM) 4:29.
13. Yaroslav Popovych (UKR/AST) 4:32.
14. Kevin Seeldraeyers (BEL/QST) 4:51.
15. Laurens ten Dam (NED/RAB) 5:18.
16. Lance Armstrong (USA/AST) 5:28.
17. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 5:31.
18. Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE/FUJ) 5:58.
19. Mauricio Soler (COL/BAR) 6:01.
20. Jackson Rodriguez (VEN/SDA) 6:17.


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